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Gusteau’s spirit reminds Remy several times during Ratatouille that “anyone can cook.” Of course, Gusteau never had to make dinner for his son when he was a child so he never got to grapple with questions like “Can anyone cook for a child?” or “Can anyone make vegetables a four year-old will eat.” But that’s a struggle we parents face every day.
And as most of us have discovered, children will eat healthfully, but it can be real work to make it happen. It helps to have a few go-to recipes on hand. In our house, one of those is ratatouille. Summer squash, zucchini, and eggplant are mild enough that kids will eat them and if you throw a little tomato sauce into the equation, things are even easier. Texture, then, is the potential stumbling block. But because this recipe is baked, the vegetables don’t get mushy, which great for adults, too. Finally, a little thyme and garlic give it flavor without adding much in the way of calories or sodium. In the end, you have a nice summery dish that’s excellent (and healthy) for the whole family.
Baked Ratatouille with Quinoa
for the ratatouille
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups rough chopped tomatoes
2 small summer squash
2 small zucchini
1 small oblong eggplant
1 red pepper
3/4 teaspoon sea salt (reduce to 1/2 teaspoon for table salt)
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
for the quinoa
1 1/2 cups dry quinoa
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Set out a 10″ sauté pan with 2″ deep sides. Flip the pan onto a sheet of parchment paper, trace the edges, and cut out a parchment round to set on top of your ratatouille. Set aside.
Heat the sauté pan oven medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Next, add the onion, and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add the tomatoes, stir for 2 minutes, and then edge heat down to medium. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are soft, about 4 minutes.
Spoon the tomato sauce into a blender and puree until smooth. There will be about 1 ½ cups of tomato puree.
Meanwhile, cut the core from the red pepper and remove any seeds (the pepper should remain in tact). Trim the ends off the squash, zucchini, and eggplant, and carefully use a mandoline to slice into thin 1/8″ slices. Use the mandoline to cut the red pepper into 1/8″ slices as well.
Pour 1 cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of the skillet, reserving the rest.
Next, create a stack of alternating squash, zucchini, and eggplant, and, starting at the center, begin to fan the slices out in the skillet, until it is full. Tuck the red pepper slices throughout. Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with the sea salt and pepper, and thyme leaves, and top with the prepared parchment round.
Bake for 50 55 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and are fragrant, but not browned.
Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cold running water, rubbing gently with fingertips to remove the outer coating. Place rinsed quinoa in a sauce pan, cover with 3 cups water, and boil. When the water is bubbling, add the salt, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Off the heat and let quinoa stand covered for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
Toward the end of bake time, heat the reserved tomato sauce.
For each serving, serve 1/2 cup of ratatouille over 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, and drizzle with a tablespoon of warmed tomato sauce.
This recipe was inspired by the video for Remy’s Ratatouille with Poach Eggs from Disney’s new series Dishes Inspired by Disney. Check out the video below:
For the full recipe for Ratatouille with Poach Eggs recipe, visit Spoonful!